Empowering Women in EdTech: A Conversation with Seasoned Investor, Jessica Millstone of Copper Wire Ventures

It’s never been easier to start an EdTech company and run it very lean.

– Jessica Millstone

On this episode of On Work and Revolution, host Debbie Goodman speaks with Jessica Millstone, Co-founder and Managing Director of Copper Wire Ventures and a huge advocate for women investors. Jessica shares invaluable insights into her transition from operator to investor, highlighting the need for alignment between investors and founders in terms of growth trajectories and timelines. 

The 5 main themes that emerged in this conversation explore:

  • Venture Capital and Angel Investing: The differences between angel investing and venture capital, highlighting the distinct approaches, expectations, and implications for founders.
  • Current Challenges in the EdTech Sector: The unique challenges and opportunities within the EdTech space, particularly regarding funding, scalability, and aligning growth trajectories with market realities.
  • Alternative Funding Models: There’s a focus on alternative funding models and strategies for startups, emphasizing the importance of adapting to changing market dynamics and considering more sustainable, bootstrapped approaches alongside traditional venture capital.
  • Women’s Leadership and Representation: Jessica discusses the underrepresentation of women in venture capital funding and the importance of supporting and investing in women-led startups, citing research that highlights the positive outcomes associated with female-led ventures.
  • Portfolio Support and Milestones: The conversation concludes with insights into Jessica’s approach to portfolio management and support for startups, touching on key milestones, such as seed rounds, series A funding, and potential exits, as well as strategies for fostering growth and innovation within portfolio companies.

Give this conversation a listen, and don’t hesitate to Contact Us if you have any questions, comments, or feedback.

About our guest, Jessica Millstone:

Co-founder and Managing Director of Copper Wire Ventures, Jessica Millstone has over 25 years of experience in the technology sector. She spent her early days at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and as a professor at Bank Street College. More recently, she has worked as an advisor, operator, and evangelist for top EdTech brands like Sesame Workshop, Common Sense Media, the NYEdTech Meetup, and BrainPOP. 

In her current role as an early-stage investor, Jessica leverages years of mentoring entrepreneurs and the support of a mission-driven family office to help dynamic female founders — particularly those creating products and services that accelerate the future of learning and work —to build and grow their ideas into great businesses.

New Yorkers may also know Jessica as the creator of a series of popular parenting workshops exploring the ways video games and social media can support children’s learning and healthy social development, and as the co-organizer of the NYEdTech Meetup, a professional networking organization over 9,000 members with monthly events for educators, entrepreneurs and investors in the edtech space. She continues to wear these crazy hats along with her new ones.

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